Stadium Spotlight: Etihad Stadium

About the Stadium

Located just twenty minutes outside of Manchester City center, Etihad Stadium is home to Manchester City Football Club.

Built in 2002 to host the Commonwealth Games, a series of sporting events held every four years for members of the Commonwealth of Nations, the stadium’s capacity is 55,017, making it the fifth-largest stadium in the Premier League.

Formerly known as the City of Manchester Stadium, the landmark arena was renamed Etihad Stadium in 2011. The Blues hold a 250-year lease on the stadium, which has also hosted rugby games, concerts, and a boxing match.

Fun Fact: Etihad Stadium’s basement facilities include a prison cell!

The Pitch

Etihad Stadium’s spectacular 105 x 68 meter pitch is located six meters below ground, a nod to ancient Roman gladiator arenas and amphitheaters. Many players believe the grass to be some of the best in the league–nominated five times in the last nine seasons, Etihad finally won Best Premier League Pitch in the 2010-2011 season.

Visiting the Stadium

See the stadium with your own eyes on a WorldStrides Sports tour to Manchester, England! Members of our 2022 Familiarization Trip had the chance to attend the Man City v. Everton Women’s match, as well as the Man City v. Manchester United derby match.

Outside the stadium, they met with Martin Tyler, an English football commentator famous for calling Sergio Aguero’s game-winning goal at the Etihad when Manchester City won the Premier League in 2012.

Watch the video below for a peek at the FAM Trip’s crew at Etihad!

Earning Academic Credit

Emirates Stadium Girls Team Photo

At WorldStrides Sports, we see the student in every student-athlete and the educator in every coach and athletic director. Our travel programs aim to excite these student-athletes and coaches with new experiences on their chosen field of play while presenting new challenges that take their game further. As an accredited organization, we’re proud to offer an exclusive Discovery for Credit program that provides our participants the opportunity to extend and deepen the learning beyond the on-trip experience. Keep reading to learn more!

Why does accreditation matter?

In 1996, WorldStrides became the first student travel company to be accredited by regional and national accrediting bodies, which means we’re held to the same strict academic standards as schools all across the country. Accreditation strengthens our capacity to offer high-quality student learning experiences across all of WorldStrides. Our academic standards, dedication to continuous improvement, and company-wide commitment to education are evaluated as part of the accreditation process.

Accreditation reaffirms our commitment to education and differentiates us from our competitors. It also highlights our strengths as an organization: our commitment to our mission, purpose, and values; our leadership; our strong business acumen; and our ability to provide research-based, targeted, innovative learning experiences for our students.

WorldStrides is proud to be accredited by three leading organizations:

  • Cognia
  • Middle States Association Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Earning academic credit

Our accredited status makes it possible for us to deliver on our commitment to education by offering academic credit to our student-athletes through the Discovery for Credit program, which provides students with the freedom to learn at their own speed, dig deeper into the subjects that interest them, and help them prepare for the future, all at the same time.

All traveling students in grades 6-12 have the opportunity to enroll in online coursework that is carefully paired with their travel program. Most assignments are designed to be completed after travel, since they ask students to incorporate much of what they learned during the field experience. Courses vary in theme, content, and length based on the travel destination.

  • Students in grades 6-12 are eligible to enroll in courses to earn high school credit at no additional cost.
  • Our partnership with George Mason University provides students in grades 9-12 at the time of travel an opportunity to enroll in courses to earn college credit.

Course previews

The following courses are available to student-athletes participating in a WorldStrides Sports travel program:

Sports Performance (.5 high school elective credit)

Across the globe, students are finding new and inventive ways to be physically active. While activity is paramount in the struggle to maintain health, fitness, and well-being, many student-athletes are unaware of how to simultaneously improve physically while mentally pushing the boundaries to achieve personal or team success. Students will learn how to build aspects of being an athlete that are not always apparent on the field or court. Whether a student is a gifted soccer player or a beginning swimmer, this course will highlight aspects that will develop and enhance the athlete’s experience.

Leadership and Character (.5 high school elective credit, 1 college credit, or 3 college credits)

This course captures the demonstration of leadership and the development of strong character. The coursework has been designed to encourage students to identify the qualities and appreciate the benefits related to leadership and character. The course content has students examine the difference between good performance and great performance; the degree to which people put the interests of others ahead of their own; ability to coach and mentor; and the process of making decisions that benefit the good of everyone and reflect various perspectives.

Questions about accreditation or academic credit? The Curriculum and Academics team can be reached at

Announcing Our Manchester United Raffle Winner

WorldStrides Sports offers the ultimate fundraiser for student-athletes: selling raffle tickets to friends, family, and community members that raises money for their upcoming international sports tour. The grand prize is a four-day trip for two to attend a Manchester United home game at Old Trafford Stadium!

Take it from a previous winner–this is truly the trip of a lifetime:

“The Manchester trip was an awesome experience that I will never forget. It’s been a dream of mine to see a Premier League game, so this trip helped that wish come true for me. The atmosphere at the game was awesome, and I got to see some great goals from Manchester United. I was also impressed with how accommodating WorldStrides Sports was while arranging extra days and flights for the trip. Overall, I am so grateful that I got this opportunity to go to Manchester and fulfill one of my dreams!” 

– Mike S. former grand prize winner

Manchester United Old Trafford Stadium

We’re thrilled to announce that this year’s grand prize winner is Madison Gill from Eastern Pennsylvania ODP. Madison will be attending the Manchester United vs. Brentford game at Old Trafford.

Congrats, Madison–we can’t wait to see photos from your trip!